“I used to be fearless / You used to be brave.”
The opening lines of “Eyes Wide,” the newest single from self-described indie-prom artist Handsome Ghost (with the help of apparent newcomer Whole Doubts), bring attention to the way things used to be.
They invoke feelings of change and the urge to stay the same, distilling the narrative that prevails through the song — that while there is urge and a sense of fear of forgetting the past (“We’ll drive until the darkness disappears / Pack up our regrets / And wear your yellow dress”), there’s an underlying pressure and want to stay in the now; trying to fix the things from the past, rather than just push them under the rug.
The lyrics themselves are simple, but the message that they convey encompasses a wide range of emotive thought. The vocals show range and stylistic talent, smoothly transitioning from a semi-spoken word verse to a falsetto chorus in a swoon that I wasn’t expecting.
Musically, the song is fantastic and playful, while still paying heed to its overall mood. While playing around with the sounds of pop and light electronica, Handsome Ghost still allows for the modest lyrics and vocals to be emotional and raw, not relying heavily on effects and instrumentation. It reminds me a lot of Owl City — “Vanilla Twilight” comes to mind — while maintaining, and playing to, its own identity.
“I wanna feel / Like the first day of my life.”
(Bright Eyes reference? No? Maybe?) I wanna feel like I did the first time I listened to this song. Everything about it was an enjoyable and relatable experience — an emotional journey into the mind of the talented Handsome Ghost, with a catchy instrumental beat and hook.
I look forward to hearing what else Handsome Ghost puts out, especially if this is any indication of great things to come.